2012 HARVEST MOON — EQUINOX EQUALIZER
The Harvest Moon event marks the start of autumn autocrossing, so it was fitting that fall began mid-morning on Saturday, halfway through the first heat. Along with the changing of the seasons, this past weekend saw other shakeups at the airport. Heats were restructured each day to give competitors as many runs as possible, and course designers Larry Casey and Sam Strano offered a fresh take on the tarmac space and provided drivers with a slew of new challenges.
Saturday’s 49 entrants were treated to a total of eight looks at the course, with the day split up into morning and afternoon runs for two groups. The course was fast and flowy, with a middle section that rewarded gutsy driving. The first day of fall warmed up to summery temperatures, and times dropped throughout the day. Co-course designer Sam Strano walked away with a double win, taking both FTD and the top spot in PAX with a 40.050 in his Super Stock Z06 Corvette. The top of the list was filled with Cumberland regulars—Matt Felten and his Renard fell short of the top spot with a 40.269, followed by Wade Chamberlain’s 40.384 in his Factory Five Cobra, and Larry Casey in a borrowed Corvette and Gary Hughes in his Lotus Stalker rounded out the top five, with a 40.680 and 40.747, respectively. E-Prepared saw a close battle between co-drivers, with Steve Wilson’s 45.507 edging out Mark Boggs by 0.3 in their shared Porshce 944. Local class winners included Pete Harrison (BSP S2000), Ken Bane (CS Miata), Bill Hartman (FS Mustang), Doug Macy (DSP Audi), Karl Loper (SM Camaro), and Bill Smith IV (AM Lotus).
After Saturday’s racing, rather than the usual picnic at Doc’s Corvette farm, local Cumberland bar Patrick’s Pub hosted the group for dinner. Making themselves at home on Patrick’s expansive patio, drivers enjoyed pub fare and good company well into the evening.
Larry and Sam worked late Saturday to provide Sunday’s participants with another great course, which was fast and open with choices in line, including only a single pivot cone at the Trooper Five turnaround—giving lots of opportunities to “get it wrong,” but handsomely rewarding those with the best line. The 58 drivers were split into two groups, and would receive a total of six runs, with a quick lunch break in between. The top three names in raw time were nothing new for Cumberland, but some of the cars were. Fred Kelley has taken FTD multiple times in his Factory Five Cobra, and Sunday was the third in his Van Diemen. A mere tenth of a second behind him was Wade Chamerblain in his trusty Cobra. And in third was another Cobra driver without his usual ride, course designer Larry Casey turned in another impressive performance in the borrowed SSM Corvette Z06. Top PAX went to Randy Pearson in his SS Corvette, edging out Jim Harris and his his SSP Corvette. Local top times were Tink Phillips in sixth with a 42.665 (XP Cobra Daytona), double class winner Pete Harrison in ninth with a 44.242 (BS S2000), and Gary Miller in tenth with a 44.437 (SS Corvette Z06).
Ken Bane repeated his CS win, a 45.123 in his Miata just enough to edge out John Ryan’s 45.308 in a new Subaru BRZ. Other two day class winners included Paul “Mewhiney” Przyborski (DS WRX), Elazar Mann (ES MR2), Dick Wallace (HS Mazda 3), Jim Harris (SSP Corvette), Al Hogan (BSP Corvette), Larry Casey (SSM Corvette), Wade Chamerblain (XP Cobra), and Bill Smith IV (AM Lotus).
The last event of the year, October’s Pumpkin Carve, is in just a few weeks. Expect a large turnout and a festive atmosphere for the conclusion of at the Cumberland airport’s 2012 autocross season.